Lightning lose to Falcons by 11 runs
Derbyshire Falcons qualified the Vitality Blast quarter-finals after completing an 11-run win in front of a record crowd of 14,752 for a non-Roses T20 match at sun-drenched Emirates Old Trafford.
The Falcons posted 162-3 after winning the toss with their innings underpinned by a record 112-run partnership between Wayne Madsen and Billy Godleman, the highest by a Derbyshire pair in T20 matches against Lancashire.
Despite a fine innings of 58 from Liam Livingstone, Lancashire lost wickets steadily in their reply to finish on 155-9 with Ravi Rampaul leading the Falcons attack with 3-19 from his 4 overs.
When play began Steven Croft struck early with the wicket of Matt Critchley caught by Livingstone for 4 in the fourth over.
The visitors then proceeded cautiously during the powerplay to reach 32-1 before Madsen pulled the first six of the day over mid-wicket with 16 runs coming from the 7th over.
The 50 partnership arrived from 39 balls with the Falcons on 68-1 at halfway but Madsen signalled intent by taking 18 off the eleventh over including a second six that more or less landed in the same spot as the first.
With Godleman providing excellent support the pair moved smoothly to their century partnership, courtesy of a third Madsen six in the 15th over.
Madsen was eventually off caught at backward short leg off an attempted paddle shot by Danny Lamb off Glenn Maxwell for 69 and Falcons skipper Godleman, after reaching his half century off 45 balls with a swept six, followed for 57 in the following over when caught by Livingstone at long-on off Matt Parkinson.
But a quick-fire 22 not out from Alex Hughes helped add 40 runs from the final five overs to leave the visitors with a useful-looking 162-3.
The start of the Lancashire reply was eventful with Alex Davies pulling Logan van Beek’s second delivery to Anuj Dal on the square leg boundary.
Livingstone responded with a huge six over midwicket and a delicate glance for four past short third man from Fynn Hudson-Prentice followed by a thunderous straight drive for six off the same bowler two overs later to keep the score rattling along.
Croft joined in the attack by hitting three fours in his 16 before pulling Rampaul fiercely to deep mid-wicket where Madsen took a good low catch and the Lightning were rocked when Rampaul uprooted Josh Bohannon’s middle stump with his next delivery to leave Lancashire on 33-3 after 4 overs.
Livingstone and Keaton Jennings steadily added to that score, reaching their 50 partnership from 41 balls in the 11th over with Livingstone posting his half-century from 33 balls (4 fours, 2 sixes) in the 13th over.
Livingstone then hit Hughes straight for his third six but three balls later edged the same bowler to wicketkeeper Daryn Smit to depart for 58, ending a partnership of 66 in 9 overs.
Jennings top edged a reverse sweep off Matt Critchley to Leus du Plooy at the start of the 14th over after making 21 to leave Lancashire on 99-5 and needing 63 from 41 balls.
That position worsened when Maxwell pulled a Luis Reece delivery onto his stumps having made 8.
Two Dane Vilas boundaries saw 14 runs taken from the 17th over bowled by Reece to keep the Lightning in the hunt before the skipper was run out for 19 off the first ball of the 18th over to leave Lancashire on 135-7.
James Faulkner hit a further six but was caught at long on by Madsen next ball for 14 and with 16 runs required from the final over Rampaul returned to seal victory for the Falcons.
A “disappointed” Liam Livingstone reflected on Lancashire Lightning’s second defeat in the Vitality Blast.
“We’ve had what we do to other teams done to us today,” he admitted.
“It was a good toss to win on a used pitch but I still thought the pitch was good in the second half.
“We’ve just got to take this one on the chin and move on.”
With the Lightning already though to the quarter-finals before today’s match, Livingstone was quick to dispel any notion of Lancashire easing up now qualification has been achieved.
“I’d hope not,” he responded when asked. “It certainly wasn’t from me and I’d very disappointed if that was the case from any of the other lads.
“We’ve played some good cricket in this tournament, especially at home, and we are very proud about how few games we’ve lost.
“It certainly hurts me (losing today) and I hope it hurts the other lads. People don’t come to Old Trafford and beat us the way we’ve been beaten today.
“So it’s been a little kick up the backside going into the quarter finals.
“We are a good team and to become one of the best teams in the country you’ve got to be smart.
“I think we’ve just been outplayed a little bit in every aspect today so we have to learn from what we didn’t do very well and turn it round for Friday (against Leicestershire).
Livingstone was pleased to have contributed runs to the Lightning cause adding:
“It’s been a little bit frustrating over the last couple of games.
“So it’s been nice to spend a little bit of time out in the middle, and I stuck to my guns while wickets were going at the other end.
“It was just a shame I couldn’t see the lads home. But nice to find a bit of form going into the knockout stages.”
Our final group match is this Friday when the Lightning play Leicestershire Foxes visit Emirates Old Trafford, 6.30pm start.
Photos: Barry Mitchell